Chad Kuhl Set To Return To Pirate Rotation

Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

After be demoted to the Minor Leagues on July 18th, Chad Kuhl will return to the Pittsburgh Pirates’ starting rotation against the San Diego Padres tonight.

In recent weeks the roster mismanagement of the Pittsburgh Pirates has been well documented. However, one of these mismanagements by the Pirates is about to rectified. That is because right-handed pitcher Chad Kuhl will return to the Pirates’ starting rotation tonight.

Anyone who has watched the Pittsburgh Pirates this season will tell you their biggest problem has been starting pitching.  Chad Kuhl, however, provides a much needed boost to the starting staff. For this reason, he never should have been removed from the Pirate rotation.

When Chad Kuhl toes the rubber against the San Diego Padres tonight, it will be his fifth career Major League start. In the first four Kuhl posted a 4.19 ERA, 4.06 FIP, and a 1.24 WHIP in 19 1/3 innings pitched. He also averaged 6.05 K/9, just 2.33 BB/9, and he allowed just two home runs.

Chad Kuhl had one disastrous start against the Chicago Cubs in which he failed to get out of the fourth inning. In that start Kuhl was charged with four earned runs on seven hits and a walk. If you take away this start, Kuhl has a 2.65 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP in 17 innings pitched.

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The strong numbers Chad Kuhl has posted in the Major Leagues this season pick up where he left off at Triple-A Indianapolis. Kuhl has pitched 82 2/3 innings for the Indians this season, and has posted a 2.37 ERA and a 3.65 FIP. This includes Kuhl having a sparking walk rate of 1.72 BB/9, and an even better home rate of 0.97 HR/9.

Undoubtedly, Chad Kuhl is an upgrade over what a lot of the Pirates’ starting pitchers have given the team this season. Pitchers such as Francisco Liriano and Jon Niese, due to being traded, and Jeff Locke, due to being demoted to the bullpen, are no longer in the Pirate rotation. As a result, the team’s starting rotation now looks much better on paper.

Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon have both been excellent for the Pirates this season, Ryan Vogelsong has done good work as a starting pitcher, and Ivan Nova pitched well in his Pirate debut on Saturday night. Combine these four with Chad Kuhl returning the rotation, and Tyler Glasnow appearing to be close to returning from the disabled list, and all of a sudden things are looking up for the Pirates’ rotation.

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A Pittsburgh Pirates’ starting rotation that is already trending upward is about to get another shot in the arm. That will come when Chad Kuhl rejoins the rotation against the San Diego Padres tonight. Hopefully, Kuhl will continue his strong work from earlier in the season.